Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Exclusive: Skinny Friedman gives PCCP the skinny on Moombahton De Acero 3

I love Young Robots. You love Young Robots. People who maybe don't even know about Young Robots will come to love it in time. How long it will take non-believers to love this Brooklyn-based label will depend on the speed of their Internet connection - but it'll be roughly the sum total of the time it takes to download Young Robot dons Skinny Friedman and Apt One's Moombahton De Acero 3 and take it all in.

The past few months on the Moombahton scene has seen the welcome arrival of a slew of buzz-rider kids, all full of enthusiasm, grand schemes and cracked software, yet of equal importance, a number of OGs who were perhaps taken for granted have asserted their rightful place in the pecking order with high-grade productions - I'm thinking Doc Adam with his La Reconquista EP, Sabbo with Deepaton and Lightning Eyez with his monumental Wildstyles comp. One of the pitfalls of this scene is the reliance on the idea of the fam - play up to the mutual support and you prosper, do your own thing and bypass the PR games and you'll sit in the stands. You rarely hear a peep from Apt One and Skinny, yet they're as important as anyone on the scene - when I first got into this beast, their first MDA EP was a key part of me becoming a mark - tracks like Apt's Con Alegria edit and Skinny's take on Count and Sinden's Mega nailed what made Moombahton so unique, and proved it had an unrivalled scope and an alchemic ability to improve almost any track. Skinny doesn't get the credit he deserves for helping to build a firm link with the urban scene, while everybody needs to go through their Serrato libraries and take stock of how Apt One has quietly and consistently delivered fuss-free bombs - just go back and listen to Fich So Sexy on Sabo's Moombahton Massive 3 EP, for starters.

This brings us to Moombahton De Acero 3. Immense. Apt One's deep latin banger Carlito is among my tracks of the year, full stop, a worthy partner piece to the fiesta vibes that Kwest, Sabo, Melo and Pickster have been dropping recently, but with the sweeping minor-key expanse of O-Wey by A-Mac. On the back of his Trap Rave release, Skinny has again truffle-pigged around in his hip hop roots and tweaked Drake into a more airhorn-friendly domain. Young Robots have also made a smart move by bringing Jay Fay and Cassius Slay into the fold, two up-comers who have already had maximum impact in a short space of time - check Jay's recent remix of Javier Estrada and Cassius' first EP.

I'm really pleased that Skinny added to his already wired, sleep-deprived state by taking the time to speak to PCCP and give us the lowdown on MDA3.

Now all you need to do is download
Moombahton De Acero 3 - and if you're in that New York place tonight, head to the launch party here...

I'll shut up now and let Skinny take over...

"It's crazy how big a part of our sets and our parties moombahton has become over the last year and change. Thanks to all the remixes and edits everyone's making, we can run seamlessly through house, dubstep, dancehall and 90's R&B. And the kids love it. The kids!
This is me and Apt One's third Moombahton De Acero compilation. It means Moombahton Of Steel, which is a nod to our Pittsburgh roots. Back when it was a funny experiment, it seemed like giving one's moombahton project a Spanish name was the thing to do. Now it honestly sounds a little corny, like when every rap album had a hip-house song with a bad pun based on the word 'house'. (Unrelated: we also did a hip-house EP.)As well as the usual remixes from me and Apt One, MDA3 also introduces Cassius Slay, Jay Fay and Tiny Cat, who we'll be working with on moombahton projects on our Young Robots label. Hope everyone loves it."

Skinny Friedman + DJ Apt One - Kick It! (Evil Dee)
"This flips the intro to Rawkus's Soundbombing I tape, with DJ Evil Dee yelling and the first few notes of Artifacts' Brick City Kids. We were underground rap heads back then and this was a big record for us. We used to play mad underground rap at house parties until the girls complained. So this is an homage to our backpacker past."

Skinny Friedman + DJ Apt One - Kick It! (Evil Dee) by Young Robots Records

Drake + Lil Wayne - "I'm On One (Skinny Friedman + Cassius Slay remix)
"Cassius Slay is my dudes CJ and Keith from Columbus. I was down there for some gigs this summer and we threw this together. Then we went to like five clubs that wouldn't let us in because we all had hats. Columbus is weird. I always have fun down there though."

Drake + Lil Wayne - I'm On One (Skinny Friedman + Cassius Slay remix) by Young Robots Records

Mark Reeve - Carlito (DJ Apt One remix)
"This is Apt in his element. I'm a lot more into the hard, dumb stuff and he goes for funkier, deeper tracks and you can see it in the tracks we've chopped up on the compilations. It creates a cool dynamic when we spin back to back though; we cover a lot of ground."

Mark Reeve - Carlito (DJ Apt One remix) by Young Robots Records

Tiny Cat - Touch
"Fundamentally, moombahton is an excuse to take genres into new speeds. Tiny Cat is a deep techno dude and he thought he hated moombahton until I broke it down for him like that. It gets hyped up as this offshoot of dutch house or dubstep, but smart DJs know it mixes well with dancehall, hyphy rap, NOLA bounce, etc etc. So dude hits me a couple days later with this totally original, synthed-out track, and it's probably gotten the best reception of all the tracks here."
Soulja Boy - All Black Everything (Jay Fay remix)
"I met Jay through Twitter after I used his Look Pon Me remix on a mixtape. When he started doing moombahton it was a no-brainer to try to get him involved. Dude is crazy talented. I love the bass drop on this one."
Cassius Slay - The Bouncer
"Anyways, CJ and I connected over a love of ignorant-ass rap music, so it caught me off guard when dude up and sent me a whole grip of original moombahcore. They're sitting on a lot of tracks and we're aiming for November for their EP."
Scottie B + King Tutt - African Chant (Skinny Friedman remix)
"One of my favorite Baltimore Club joints of all time, I don't think I played a single gig from 2006 to about 2008 without dropping African Chant. It slowed down pretty nicely."

Scottie B + King Tutt - African Chant (Skinny Friedman remix) by Young Robots Records

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